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A WORK OF PROFOUND SCHOLARSHIP

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Andrew Parrott's 'Composers' Intentions?
Lost Traditions of Musical Performance',
read by RODERIC DUNNETT

 

Andrew Parrott is one of the most eminent specialists focusing on Baroque and Renaissance music working in England (and also the USA and Canada) today. Since, in his twenties, he founded the Taverner Consort and Choir, which played a key role in advancing the early music expertise which gained pace in the 1970s and 1980s, Parrott, also former director of the London Mozart Players, has conducted intense and emphatically rewarding research into the performance practice of, especially, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, yielding, notably and not least, the book The Essential Bach Choir (ESB, 2000).

Parrott's recordings speak for themselves: among those with the Taverner Choir are Monteverdi's Vespers and the opera L'Orfeo, Gabrieli's Sinfoniae Sacrae, Handel's Carmelite Vespers, Bach's reconstructed Trauer-Musik (details of the rediscovery and reconstruction appear later in this extensive, profoundly impressively researched volume), Taverner's Western Wind Mass (which admirably won the Gramophone Editor's choice), Machaut's Messe de Notre Dame (the recording of which is also examined in Parrott's final chapter), Vivaldi concerti, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (one of several outstanding discs directed by Parrott, including the Bach and Monteverdi, featuring the American soprano Emily van Evera) and (with other forces) music by Johann Caspar Kerll (1627-93) and Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706).

In this powerfully rewarding book, incredibly rich in sources and surely a must for any specialist or those drawn to the intricacies of performance practice, Parrott makes his way with assured touch through many a musical minefield regarding the correct handling of — especially — early Baroque repertoire, lays out his extensive material with an ever firm grasp and poses a wide range of questions for which he provides answers, where possible, that draw on literally hundreds of crucially important and relevant texts of the time...

Copyright © 18 October 2016 Roderic Dunnett,
Coventry UK

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CLASSICAL MUSIC BOOK REVIEWS

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT

HENRY PURCELL

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI

BAROQUE MUSIC

ENGLAND

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